At 07:49 PM 1/9/2001 -0800, Robin Drake wrote:
>On Fri, 29 December 2000, Doug Cowling wrote:
>I'm all in favor of the availability of anticipated/Saturday evening
>services, as well as Sunday evening, to accomodate our varied
>schedules. As a college student, I remember many dates which ended up at
>a midnight Mass, and I have also gone to non-Sunday morning services to
>have the opportunity for corporate worship and still keep a personal
>schedule (either work or social).
>However, if we schedule other events into our personal calendars as worth
>clearing time for, isn't it worth scheduling something like the Holy Week
>services too? I usually plan to take at least a half day off on Good
>Friday, and feel odd if I'm at work, and my entire schedule for that week
>is built around the three evening services of the Triduum. To me, it's
>well worth it, and I would encourage others to do likewise. There is
>something very special about actually setting apart time for prayer and
>worship at least occasionally, rather than just fitting it in as best one can.
Interesting point made here, Robin. I've struggled in conversation with
folks at the seminary and on internship with making a new definition for
"shut in" (a term I'm not keen on, but it will do). While there are many
folks, like you, who can (or will) work their secular life around the
church year, there are many others who simply can't do that. How many law
enforcement, fire protection, taxi drivers, restaurant staff, etc, men and
women are shift workers and unable to go to church on Sunday morning? Are
these folks, "occupational shut ins" if you will, any less deserving of a
visit by the pastor or Eucharistic minister than the 82 year old at home
recovering from a broken hip? Sure, these shift workers will have SOME
Sundays free (at least one would hope that would be the case), but not
every week. How do we best minister to them?
Would it be considered "bad form" to have, for example, a Tuesday morning
or Thursday evening worship that is designed to meet the needs of the
person who can't get to church on Sunday AM, and make the service known to
one's ecumenical partners to share with their flocks? Roman and Episcopal
congregations are much more likely to have a weekday service from my
experience, but other than St Luke's (ELCA) Dundalk MD, I can't think of a
regularly scheduled weekday Eucharist in the DC-Baltimore corridor (outside
PECUA and Roman congregations).
I don't have answers...but I hope some of you might.